Joel Kinnaman on why the Robocop remake didn’t get over with fans

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The star of the 2014 RoboCop remake has been chatting about why, despite having its admirers, the film failed to impress a wide audience.

On paper at least, 2014’s Robocop looked like a promising idea. A very talented cast including Michael Keaton, Samuel L Jackson and a quality lead in the form of Joel Kinnaman, who possesses the sort of blue-collar everyman nature that you’d want in a perfect Alex Murphy. Add in huge advancements in special and visual effects, and a story focusing on the US military industrial complex that was ripe for the sort of satirical unpicking that the 1987 original did so deliciously.


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However, whilst the film is certainly not without its fans, there was a general feeling that these constituent elements just never quite came together as well as they could have.

The film’s star, Joel Kinnaman, has been chatting about this to The Playlist and had a few interesting things to say, including how his inexperience as a leading man led him to not question decisions that he disagreed with:

“That was the first big movie I did. I had to quell all my instincts for everything over the course of that film. I’m like, ‘why am I wearing a black suit? That doesn’t make any sense at all. The first interview I did for RoboCop, and it was right after I was cast…I got the first questions for RoboCop, and the question was ‘so, is it going to be R-rated?’ And I was like ‘of course, it’s going to be R-rated! Only an idiot would make RoboCop a PG-13 movie.’ Cut to the next morning – 47 missed calls I woke up to”.

The choice to make the film a PG-13 was perhaps the most frustrating for fans of the first film, who loved the Paul Verhoeven original for its graphic, splatterpunk style. With much of the satire missing too, despite some great elements and an interesting story, the film fell short of expectations.

Said Kinnaman, “what I feel like the whole movie didn’t take into account is what the fans loved about [the original RoboCop]. And you have to pay homage to that. And I think the producers and the filmmakers and me included didn’t really understand how to do that in the right way. I think it’s a really solid movie, it just didn’t fit the RoboCop concept”.

A return to the Robocop universe is still on the cards in the form of Robocop Returns, which has the involvement of Ed Neumeier who was involved with the scripting for both the original and the 2014 remake. As for Joel Kinnaman, we’ll next be seeing him as Rick Flag, as one of the few characters from the original  David Ayers Suicide Squad film to return for the James Gunn-helmed sequel, The Suicide Squad.

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